Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


In the search for a cultural oasis, FAU is a mirage

Culture. What a word. Does anyone know what it means?

I’m not talking about the anthropological meaning, or the definition that any text book can give you. I’m talking about art, letters and music. I’m talking about human expression. And why I haven’t seen any since I’ve been here.

One of the most surprising things that I’ve noticed here, two months deep into classes, is the lack of a cultural policy at FAU. Sorry people, but I don’t see how the activities on campus focus on any cultural policy. There doesn’t seem to be any cultural ideas or activities sponsored by FAU.

I have many questions and complaints about that. Where are the poets? The writers? The musicians (the ones who play and sing in the cafeteria)? Where is everybody?

Back when I went to college in Peru, I was involved in different kinds of cultural activities. I used to hang around a lot with a group of friends that formed a poetry collective. We managed to put out a publication of our poetry and stories despite the economic conditions of the country and our pockets.

The university couldn’t give us financial support, but they offered different times and locations for a poetry recital. We organized this recital not only for ourselves but we also invited poets from other colleges, groups around campus, teachers, and a couple of famous Peruvian poets. The result – five hours of poetry, 3,000 spectators, and a series of recitals called “Novissima Verba” (Latin for New Verb) that is held every semester. Lately, it got press coverage despite the lack of a sponsor, except for the college itself.

I did see the signs for the Art exposition, but the forecast looks dead after that. Oh yes, FAU has its own record company, and they accept demos from students. But I really don’t see if a path is being followed. I mean, if FAU really has an interest in culture, they must be more enthusiastic in supporting students and faculty ideas, not making compromises for budgetary reasons. Again, there is a serious lack of support for culture here. FAU is a university losing its artistic side.

I won last year’s poetry contest in Peru. It was organized by the student union and supported by the university and a couple of editorial houses. Am I going to find a similar contest here?

As I was hanging around outside the Ataris concert, I saw something that really made me sick – cars advertising the concert. I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking, why doesn’t FAU give students a chance to put on their own concert? Why did the Ataris come? Why doesn’t the university make a push to involve student performers to be more involved in FAU activities?

Maybe I’ve exaggerated a bit, maybe it’s just a matter of propaganda and the way they advertise their events that keeps me away from the culture at FAU. Maybe with better advertised programs and ideas people would participate in more cultural activities.

Or maybe I’m right. Culture at FAU is a boat without sails, navigating without a destiny. Maybe it’s really disjointed and has been abandoned as I’m presuming. I hope that I am still allowed to read some poems to myself in the cafeteria during lunch time.

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